GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) – The Crystal Cathedral has endorsed selling its sprawling campus to a university as part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan, church officials said Wednesday.
The church’s board of directors has backed Chapman University’s offer to buy the property if the church is unable to raise enough money to avoid a sale, the church said in a written statement.
Under the plan, the church would be able to continue to use a number of buildings on the Garden Grove campus and possibly repurchase them at a later date.
“Though the preferred outcome of this bankruptcy is to raise the funds needed for the ministries to remain the owner of the entire campus, there loomed a deadline imposed by the creditors’ committee to select between two offers approved by the committee,” said televangelist and Crystal Cathedral founder Dr. Robert Schuller.
Schuller praised Chapman University in the statement, saying it is compatible with the church in many ways, but added that the church looks forward to a new dream of “buying the core campus back.”
A federal bankruptcy judge still must rule on the reorganization plan. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 14.
Chapman University, based in the nearby city of Orange, has offered to pay $50 million for the property, possibly for use as a medical school or other health sciences offerings, said Mary Platt, a university spokeswoman. The university said in a statement Wednesday that the plan, if approved, would provide Chapman with much-needed space to expand.
Other offers were made by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, a Norco-based church and Newport Beach real estate investment firm.
The Crystal Cathedral filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year while struggling to emerge from more than $43 million in debt. The church founded in the mid-1950s is famous for its “Hour of Power” televangelist broadcast and a glass spire that can be seen from miles away.